Tag Archive: John Redwood

Answer the question, please!

Once again I have entered into a debate with John Redwood, this time on Cameron’s fixation of holding an EU referendum in 2017. Like the disciple Peter, thrice Redwood denies the truth, namely in this instance that a Convention and IGC is necessary where treaty change is to occur.

From the comments section:

David Phipps

Posted February 1, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

Mr. Redwood, I am at a total loss to understand this fixation with a referendum in 2017 and Cameron’s stated aim of renegotiating the treaties.

He can no more renegotiate the treaties than I can, yet you continue to write about this. Surely you both know – and if you don’t, you should do – that treaty change requires a Convention followed by an IGC – a process that will take longer than 2 years.

As a result, were a referendum to be held in 2017, on what would the public being asked to decide? A ‘status quo’ which was in the course of being changed – the outcome of which would be unknown? Does it really matter then, that a nonsensical bill has been lost?

This ridiculous agenda that Cameron proposes – and which is supported by you and others in the Conservative Party – has to cease. Its continuation is misleading the British electorate and I would suggest that misleading the electorate is a heinous crime – but then it is a practice in which the political class excel; and have done so for decades.

And still you and your ilk wonder why politicians are held in such low esteem?

Reply I want people to have the opportunity to vote to leave the EU. If you are right and the rest of the EU will not offer Mr Cameron a better deal then I suggest it makes exit that much more likely. Why complain?

  • David Phipps
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Your response is most logical, Mr. Redwood. Unfortunately I note that like all politicians you duck the question I posed. To repeat: how can Cameron renegotiate the treaties and put a question to the electorate by 2017 when he has no power to change the treaties and when he has to undergo the process of Convention and IGC which will take more than 2 years?

    That about which I complain has nothing to do with his intentions, merely his continual deception of the public by maintaining that he will do that which he cannot -and which you and your ilk,together with the Conservative Party mouthpiece Open Europe, publicly support.

    And what of the Spinelli Group’s suggestion for a new Treaty and their call for those member states that will not join the Euro to become ‘Associate’ members? Or is that a subject that will not be broached with the public until it becomes unavoidable?

    Reply In EU affairs there is no fixed way of proceeding. If the other states wanted to help him they could do so quite quickly after 2015, as the states did who signed a non EU Fiscal Treaty recently.

  • David Phipps
    Posted February 1, 2014 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    If by Fiscal Treaty you are referring to The Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union, otherwise known as the Fiscal compact then that is to be incorporated into the Treaties within the next 4 years.

    Where the next step from the LisbonTreaty is concerned – and it is coming as you would know if you paid attention to ‘matters EU’ – is by ‘treaty change’ and that can only be accomplished by a Convention and an IGC. Merkel has already hinted at it and Barroso is due to give a speech prior to the May elections.

    One of Cameron’s aims is to change immigration rules, which encroaches on the principle of free movement. Has not Barroso and Reding not stated that this is a ‘no-go’ area? Cameron attempts to change welfare requirements but cannot as it infringes that same principle of free movement.

    With treaty change coming, you honestly believe the Commission is going to allow some states to’fix things” to their own advantage – especially where the ‘four freedom’s are concerned? If so then I have to say you are deluded; and no offence is intended by my use of the word deluded’.

    Come Spring it is my intention to hold a public meeting, once I have found a suitable venue, the subject of which will be ‘Democracy – and why we haven’t got it’. This will encompass the deficits of representative democracy and the European Union – care to attend and turn it into a public debate?

    I extend the invitation to you – or any other MP, regardless of party – as my MP has publicly informed me that he has no further intention to answer questions I have previously posed him. When an MP can adopt such an attitude then democracy, per se, truly is dead.

    Reply As I have repeatedly said, if the other states will not engage in a UK renegotiation then the people have the opportunity to vote to leave. I suspect a way will be found to change the Treaties. The EU is constantly changing and evolving the way it works, as they did during the Euro crisis.

Not that Redwood is alone in apparently not being able to see that which is in front of his nose. Either this is because (a) he genuinely does not understand ‘matters EU’; or (b) he has been sat on by the whips and is another Carswell; or, more likely, (c) sitting on a healthy majority in his  Wokingham constituency, he cares not one fig about his constituents or parliamentary sovereignty and is just in politics for the power and position it affords him.

In my reply to Redwood I wrote about what I termed the heinous crime of misleading the public – and it would seem there is a conspiracy involving politicians and journalists. Witness Matthew d’Ancona with his op-ed in today’s Telegraph in which he writes:

When David Cameron addresses his plans for a referendum on EU membership, he does so with a confidence that increasingly commands respect and attention.

How d’Ancona has the barefaced affront to pen such a sentence escapes me entirely -is he too uneducated about ‘matters EU’ or have pieces of silver also changed hands? Booker aside,just when is a journalist going to report the actualité?

Neither does Janet Daley escape censure with her comment that Dominic Raab was subjected to public character assassination that stopped just short of libel. So he should have been because for an MP with a legal background to propose an amendment which, if he knew anything about ‘matters EU’, he should know was pointless beggars belief.

Daley continues her article by writing about the position of voters amid the shenanigans that occurred in Parliament last week; to whom does an MP’s responsibility lie; that the democratic process, both here and in the United States, is in crisis; and that the voice of the people is routinely ignored by politicians. If all that is true – which it undoubtedly is – then it is unbelievable that someone like Daley is unable to take the next logical step and realise that the system of democracy currently practiced needs to be changed.

In conclusion one can only presume that journalists, like politicians, always offer their opinions from an upright position – as to do so from one sedentary would make their opinions impossible to hear.*

* Credit for that observation must go to an email correspondent of mine whose identity, for the moment, must remain known only to me.


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Really, Ed: there are limits

I have refrained from commenting on the MilibandE/Mail fracas; and in any event Helen, Your Freedom and Ours has written a comment in far better prose than I could ever hope to employ. It is impossible to not agree with Helen that – and here I resort to my more basic command of the English language – when one has repeatedly stated, virtually in every major speech that has been made, that one’s father was the guiding light in your life, then it follows that as the son and a leading political figure of the land, he must expect a few pot-shots to be taken in his direction. John Redwood made the decision not to mention his father when campaigning for the Tory leadership – I leave readers to judge which of the two men made the wiser decision.

Any sympathy that MilibandE may have expected must now surely be negated by his utterly stupid insertion of a contentious political point in his letter of complaint to Lord Rothermere about the intrusion of a Mail reporter attending his uncle’s memorial event.

Crass Ed, just crass!


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Redwood ‘open letters’ Hague

In The Times today, on the Opinion page, John Redwood writes an ‘open letter’ to William Hague, one with the title: Is the Foreign Office fighting for Britain? Following the usual opening pleasantry of Dear William, Redwood begins: The Foreign Office review of the balances of EU competences — documenting the powers that Brussels has over Britain — is important work. The title may not be catchy, but it is about our democracy and identity as a nation. He continues: The six chapters published so far read as whitewash to justify the existing settlement. The reader is alerted to the overarching bias of the exercise in the first sentence: “Membership of the EU is in the UK’s national interests.

Redwood wants the FCO to start with an honest catalogue of all the powers the EU now enjoys. He then believes this would allow political parties  to then set out which powers should be brought back to the UK and which should remain at EU level. This is a man who then further believes that: our democracy needs a new relationship.

There will, no doubt, be readers who believe that I should ‘lay off’ criticising Redwood just as they believe my castigation of the likes of Carswell and Hannan are unjustified, in that they are convinced those three are part of the ”good guys’. For any politician who can believe in (a) a system of democracy which has no vestige of democracy within it; and (b) that some powers affecting their nation, whose well being they hold in their hands on behalf of others, can be sub-contracted to another, higher, legislative body should promptly be committed to Broadmoor!

That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan are but Judas Goats leading their sheep to their eventual appointment at the political slaughterhouse is beyond doubt That all three can write blithely about democracy, when such does not exist but a system of democratised dictatorship does, should ring alarm bells in any person who has the ability of thought. They write about independence of our nation, by which they mean their independence, not the independence of those they are elected to serve and whose views they are supposed to represent – hence they wish to perpetuate the existing system of democratised dictatorship.

Since when has a nation been the personal fifedom of our elected politicians, to do with as they wish? Does not a nation belong to the people within it and should it not be their voice that dictates that nation’s – as well as their own – direction of travel? That Redwood, Carswell and Hannan – as do undoubtedly the remainder of their class – seem unable to accept that falling membership of political parties is something that continues and thus demonstrates that people no longer are content to devote hours of their time supporting them beggars belief.

This latter point is one mentioned by Ross Clark in an article to be published in the Speccie in two days time, but is currently available online. In his article, Clark nails the problem with representative democracy where democracy is concerned. He writes:

Yet every election forces us to choose between baskets of policies. The political system offers us only fixed menus when most of us really want to go à la carte.

Here, although Clark does not wish to mention it – assuming he has even considered it – we have the first unspoken suggestion that representative democracy does not and cannot work; and it means that if we want à la carte then the only way to achieve that state is to adopt a system of direct democracy. On this point of an à la cart option, Clark continues:

But what if convention were to be abandoned and the Prime Minister and the main offices of state could be directly elected? The possibility that any MP could become Prime Minister would encourage independent candidates to come forward, who could stand on their own genuine beliefs, not those fed to them by party managers (or donors). No longer would an incoming government have a mandate to enact a single manifesto, with whips on hand to bully MPs into line; every policy would have to command support of the House of Commons on its own merits. Then the country could simultaneously vote — as it would choose to do — for both welfare reform and a mansion tax.

Yet again we find Clark highlighting the deficits of representative democracy, but once again seemingly unable to take the next logical step. If we wish to vote for welfare reform and a mansion tax, why on earth does that have to have an effect countrywide? Why cannot smaller units, such as County Councils, decide that; and, more importantly, why cannot the people in each County Council decide that which they want and insist on their Council providing just that?

That which Clark would like to see is but the tip of what the 6 Demands would provide – political freedom for the people and an end to the servitude which they presently suffer under representative democracy, a system that is by its nature one that is dictatorial.

No doubt like many others I am frustrated that those who present themselves as opinion-formers/political commentators appear unable to think logically – and ‘outside the box’. When we have politicians inside the box; and whose livelihood depends on maintain their seat inside the box; and opinion formers/political commentators who appear to have not one logical reasoning process among them – then all we, the people, can look forward to is a continuance of the status quo.

Unless we, perhaps, start thinking for ourselves?

 


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Where is “democracy”, Mr. Redwood, in that which you write?

John Redwood has an article entitled: “Parliamentary Law and Treaty Law”, from which:

“Statute law designed by a free and sovereign Parliament has two great advantages over these Treaties. The first is Parliament can regularly improve and update the moral standards and viewpoints behind the laws as opinion evolves. Secondly the public can remove members of a Parliament that make a mess of it and insist on urgent change after a new election.”

So Parliament can regularly improve and update the moral standards and viewpoints behind the laws as opinion evolves? And whose moral standards, viewpoints and opinions are we discussing here? Those of the political class, or those of the people? So the public can remove members of a Parliament that make a mess of it and insist on urgent change after a new election? And in the ensuing periods twixt elections exactly what can the people do about that with which they disagree?

In those few questions referred to in the quote, we have a politician, revered by some among the electorate as being “on their side”, who wishes to continue the present system of democratised dictatorship for reasons of self-preservation, self-aggrandisement and, more importantly, power over their fellow man. Just where is there any sense of democracy – demos/people, kratos/power; ie, people power – in that? Where is the voice of the people? There isn’t – and the last thing those like Redwood want is the voice of the people.

We are continually informed by the political class that they are elected to represent us, yet where in the process of their “deliberations” are our moral standards; our viewpoints and our opinions canvassed? Oh those of “partners”; quangos and ncos are listened to – but they are not the people! I see no statement from /Redwood that this would change were he to have his way where governance of this country is concerned.

Redwood = charlatan?

Just asking……….

Update: I have posted this link under the heading of a rebuttal and requested that he cross-post his reply on this blog for the benefit of my readers – I wait with bated breath……….

 


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Censorship: MP Style?

On his blog, John Redwood posted an article entitled: “When might Germany get fed up paying for the Euro?”. Among the comments is one by Andy Baxter, timed at 8:07am. Notwithstanding the fact that when commenting on Redwood’s blog it is known that your comments are moderated, one should be able to assume that providing said comment does not contain profanity or is of a libellous nature, it will be published.

That which Andy Baxter submitted (compare and contrast) read:

“Question: “When might Germany get fed up with paying for the Euro?”
Answer: Never
Analysis: Why? because the Franco German alliance is the EU. ‘Le Project’ has always and will always be about domination of the European land mass of Europe and its peoples, politically, ideologically, financially, legislatively, psychologically, and a whole host of other ‘ically’ ways never even thought of yet by a ruling elite or what we call a ‘political class’ unelected, unaccountable and totally corrupted by the exercise of POWER!

And by the way Mr. Redwood Germany doesn’t pay for the EU, we do, all 500 million of us irrespective of our nationality. And we do so because people of your ilk under the broken not fit for purpose system of ‘representative democracy’ don’t and won’t listen to people like us and our wishes.

Ladies and Gentlemen there is another way and it’s voice is growing: Reform2013

There is nothing on Redwood’s blog that states links are not permitted and indeed, after the comment by Andy Baxter, there appears one from Denis Cooper, timed at 9:33am, which contains a link to an article by Open Europe. It seems odd for an MP who is a member of a government which professes to believe in transparency to edit comments and cut out that with which he/she may have no belief or affinity – but I digress.

Personally, I do not moderate comments, although I do edit any that contain profanity of any description. Once a blog owner moderates to the extent of omitting material, the content of which he may not agree, then what is being practised is but a form of censorship.

Another point worth mentioning is that John Redwood only rarely replies to comments, something I attempt to do on an individual basis. It is appreciated that Redwood gets far more comments than do I and to respond individually might not be possible for him due to time constraints. However Norman Tebbit always ends a post responding to comments made on his previous post – and I am sure that Norman Tebbit is just as busy as John Redwood – but again I digress.

Is it possible that John Redwood did take a look at the link Andy Baxter posted and thought: that is my power curtailed, I’m buggered if I’m going to allow that link!

Just asking, Mr. Redwood, just asking……….

 


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Are people responsible for state debt?

Following his post: “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”, John Redwood, presumably in the same thread, posts another entitled: “As a voter in a democracy, am I responsible for the debts of the state?“. In respect of his question my immediate response was ‘No’, John, because you don’t live in a democracy – but I digress.

Redwood writes:

“The truth is that the debts incurred by the state are debts that we all collectively owe. If you stay in the country you pay. When it becomes clear a state has borrowed too much and will find it difficult to borrow more, the political choices all become unpleasant. They revolve around one simple issue – how do you share out the pain of paying.”

Perhaps Mr. Redwood can show me the agreement, bearing my signature on the dotted line, one which confirms my liability for said debt? When considering his question about how does one share out the pain of payiing might I suggest that until such time as the people have collectively agreed to expenditure of public money, it is the politicians who should be personally liable for said debt? When has any government asked we who provide the money they require, if we agree to provide it?

I notice that the Coalition of Resistance is holding a press conference to launch a mass anti-austerity campaign, one being attended by two MPs and a collection of comedians. Yet two more MPs wishing to decide whether we tighten our belts or they spend more of our money. By no stretch of the imagination can Redwood, Lucas and Clark claim that that is democracy in action – perhaps they would be agreeable to the people taking part of their income and informing them what it will be spent on for their benefit, without their having any voice in the matter? Perhaps those three MPs, together with the commenters on Redwood’s post linked to above, should go and read the 6 Demands?

Commenting on what he calls a frankly silly and ill-analysed piece in the Guardian this morning by Anthony Painter, Raedwald makes the point that there is:

“a desire for individuals to have more say over the regulation of their own lives rather than less say”

And it is through the adoption of the 6 Demands that that desire can and will be achieved – the last thing the people need is for two MPs and a collection of comedians to decide how money is spent, nor how much or little regulation we have in our lives.

Just saying……….

 


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2013
03/23

Category:
David's Musings

TAG:




COMMENTS:
Comments Closed

Say one thing and do another

Today, Ed Miliband addressed the People’s Policy Forum in Birmingham (text here) and from which the first few words:

“I am delighted to be here today. This is a very special event. What today is about is doing politics in a different way. And doesn’t politics need it? Because I think we have to do politics in a different way. You can watch politicians trading blows in the House of Commons each week. Sometimes I enjoy it and sometimes I don’t. But it’s not necessarily very enlightening. We’ve got to take politics back to where it belongs: to you. So that’s why we’ve said: you set the agenda.”

He then continued by telling the audience what he intended to do, were he to become prime minister. Apparently the contradiction of what followed his opening remarks completely escaped him. After his speech there was a Q&A session with the audience and courtesy of John Rentoul on Twitter a lady with an American accent asked: “Why don;t you take back privatisation of gas, electricity and water?” – cue much applause. On querying EdM’s response with Rentoul the reply EdM gave was: “First, I’m not sure its the answer but, second, we won’t have the money to do it”. Being charitable to EdM one can only presume his reply was code for “HMV (Brussels), they say no!”.

Of course, if politicians did wish to enact that which they profess (which we know damn well they don’t) and take politic back to where it belongs – to we the people, thereby letting us set the agenda – then they would voluntarily adopt the principles of direct democracy. On this point, reader’s attention is drawn to John Redwood’s blog and a post today entitled “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”, from which the last paragraph:

“The big problem with western democracy is the tendency for politicians driving the state to spend and tax too much, damaging the freedom and independence of the people who have to support the state. I wish over the next few days to explore this paradox of freedom. Many people contributing to this blog will say “L’etat ce n’est pas moi”. They do not want the state to spend so much of their money, and disagree with many of its decisions. As we will see, they will however end up paying the bills if they stay in the country.”

Redwood’s attempt to explain what he terms a paradox of freedom should provide a rich vein for comment in the days to come. Interestingly, in the comments section one comment would appear to have adopted Demand #5 of the 6 Demands:

“The main problem most so called democracies have, seems to be the ability to borrow money on the peoples behalf.If the ability to borrow money was halted (other than in times of war to DEFEND the HOMELAND), then Governments would need to be more honest with their taxation and spending plans.At the moment we have a situation where the majority of the people attempt to be sensible with their own finances, only to find that their own financial budgets are cast to the winds by feckless politicians who always want more.Introduce Statute that no government can borrow money on the peoples behalf, and you not only go a good way to restoring the finances, but also returning to a proper more transparent democratic system of accountability.”

to which I have responded and, one could say, thrown down the gauntlet to John Redwood.

Today was also the Ukip Spring Conference, so a question to my Ukip readers: Why has the page: “Constitution Ukip policy 2009 – How we are governed”" disappeared” (“404″ results)? Even clicking on “Manifesto” does not produce any policy about our constitution. From memory this document promised referenda on “selected” or “certain” matters (apols, can recall the exact wording); but selected or certain were not specified. Why will Ukip, which professes to be a Libertarian party, not adopt the principles of direct democracy – sorry, rhetorical question, because like all present political parties they wish to retain their power over we the people. Were a miracle to happen and Ukip formed a government, where the matter of our system of democracy is concerned – and the deficits contained therein, we are back to the age-old adage: plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

It hardly needs pointing out that were just one political party to adopt the principles of direct democracy there will be no need for the people to, eventually, become so revolting…….

 


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Send in the army?

Yesterday I mentioned a discussion I had with John Redwood, Conservative – Wokingham, a leading “eurosceptic”; or so we are led to believe.

I thought I would post two screenshots of the discussion:

Redwood 1That brought forth the following:

Redwood 2Readers may accuse me of argumentativeness; and that my “attack” on John Redwood is unfair – but consider:

Here we have a Member of Parliament deliberately promoting a course of action which is completely pointless and would not achieve the desired result; who deigns not to engage with a member of the electorate and thus chooses to ignore that which is put to him by way of counter argument; who has prattled on in the past repeating the need for Cameron’s renegotiation meme; and is reduced to making utterly ridiculous comments about armies; a statement that beggars belief.

Members of Parliament are supposed to “guide” public opinion with their “wisdom” and in using said wisdom, be the guardians of our nation while also being a servant of the people. In this regard John Redwood stands guilty of dereliction of duty and, dare one say, political illiteracy. Not that Redwood is alone, he most definitely is not – unfortunately space does not permit the listing of all those like him.

Not that that that problem is limited to national governance, local governance is also open to the same charge of dereliction of duty, especially where political illiteracy is concerned. I posted about this problem with our system of democracy yesterday, a post which unfortunately does not seem to have attracted much attention.

Far be it for me to speak for others, suffice it to say that I believe those of us who take an interest in politics per se are totally frustrated with those who are supposed to guide us, but do not; who are supposed to have wisdom, but have not; who are supposed to be the guardians of our nation, but are not; and who are supposed to be the servants of the people, but most definitely are not.

So now can we have a serious debate in this country about our system of democracy – please?

Afterthought: If nothing else shows what a farce is our system of democracy then it must be that Owen Paterson has to admit that he is unable to do what he would like to do because of our subservience to Brussels!


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Article 50 – and a “nag” or two…….

There has appeared on the blog of The Boiling Frog three articles on the above subject which should be required reading for all those interested in matters EU.

Besides being highly informative TBF debunks the arguments which are raised, should the UK invoke Article 50, about “punitive” laws being imposed on us, which as he states would be against the fundamental principles of the treaties and spirit of the EU and the Single Market. In dealing with the two-year period stipulated within Article 50 (it can, as TBF, states be shortened or lengthened by agreement) he explains how such punitive laws could not be imposed due to the timescale that the formation of law takes. In the final part TBF deals with the matter of possible retribution measures that might be taken by the EU for failing to implement any such law – were it able to be passed -  or, come to that, any law passed within this two year period.

There are two further points worth making at this juncture, one of which TBF covers in his articles. The first of these points is to do with the “repeal the ECA1972 and with one bound we are free” meme, one that once again John Redwood was proposing just a few days ago – a post within which when challenged by me in the comments section he refused to accept that he was wrong, although he did have the grace to concede that exiting from the EU via Article 50 was another way. With such “leading lights” as Redwood within the eurosceptic camp, one is left with a sense of foreboding where the success of the ‘No’ campaign is concerned.

The second point worth making is that Farage and Ukip, among others, are clamouring for a referendum now and until a week or so ago – on the occasion of Cameron’s speech – Farage had not mentioned the magic words “Article 50″. Having at last done so, why did the content of TBF’s three articles not appear on Ukip’s website? Why does it take an independent blogger to do this type of work?

On that last point, let me move onto the “matter du jour” – and no, it is not the EU budget “agreement”, another story on which the media have it so wrong – namely the question of horse meat having been found to enter the food chain. Richard North, EUReferendum, has three posts, here, here and here which are also “required reading” on this subject. Again, one has to query why it should be an independent blogger who provides all the “detail” and information? Just where are the MSM? As Richard North points out, this entire matter has arisen through a checking system introduced by the EU and which relies purely on a “paper trail” and as such is a massive failure by the EU. Food is an EU competence, as Owen Paterson has stated, consequently the UK cannot take unilateral action to solve the difficulties that the problem has thrown up which means that the incompetents that caused this problem – the EU – are now involved, something which does not give one much confidence in the new measures that will surely be forthcoming. One also has to ask where Ukip and Farage are on this matter as their silence has been rather noticeable – should they not be at the forefront of the condemnation, explaining how and why it has arisen?  At the time of writing, this is Ukip’s home page:

Neither the political class nor the MSM have the slightest understanding of the word omnishambles when they use it, which no doubt they will once they realize the true extent of this problem that presently nags at our attention. In plain, simple English it is not an omnishambles, it is a complete disaster, as is the European Union, politics in the UK and they system of democracy under which and by which we are governed.


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